What You Need to Know About the Equifax Data Breach Settlement
- Written by Drew Guthrie
- Category: Articles
In September of 2017 Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. In July of 2019, Equifax agreed to a settlement that would provide the following:
One benefit that the settlement provides for all U.S. consumers is 7 free Equifax credit reports per year through 2026 at annualcreditreport.com
- Free credit monitoring or a cash payment.
- Reimbursement for your time and money spent protecting your identity or recovering from identity theft.
- Free identity restoration services if someone steals your identity.
Initial claims needed to be filed by January 22, 2020. The settlement became final in January 2022. But there are still steps you can take whether you filed a claim before or not.
If you filed a claim requesting free credit monitoring services, you may receive or have already received a letter or email from the Equifax Data Breach Settlement Administrator. Notification will only be provided by letter or email, not phone calls. As an eligible claimant, you will receive free membership in Experian IdentityWorks℠ for four years. The letter or email contains the link to the Experian IdentityWorks℠ website and an activation code that must be used by June 27, 2022.
The membership in Experian IdentityWorks℠ is free. No payment information is needed to enroll, and it will cancel automatically at the end of the four years. Any call, text, or email asking for payment information is a scam.
Even If You Didn't File
Even if you didn't file a claim by the January 22, 2020 deadline, you may still be able to receive reimbursement or the free identity restoration services. This article from the FTC has more information.
One benefit that the settlement provides for all U.S. consumers is 7 free Equifax credit reports per year through 2026 at annualcreditreport.com.